NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron needs little introduction, having recorded extensively as a sideman since the early ‘60s in addition to his numerous albums as a leader. The pianist has developed a personal sound that is readily identifiable, adding value to any session in which he takes part.
Mark Weinstein began his career as a Latin jazz trombonist, before leaving music to teach philosophy for a time, picking up the flute as a hobby. While retaining his love of Latin music upon his return to playing professionally on his new instrument, Weinstein also widened his scope to include Brazilian music. Jazz Brasil includes Barron, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Marcello Pellitteri and explores Brazilian and jazz favorites. The former works are well suited to flute, especially the upbeat “Triste” and the subdued, bittersweet “If You Never Come To Me”, the latter with the leader playing alto flute and showcasing Matta’s intricate solo. Two fine originals, Matta’s invigorating “Sambosco” and the flutist’s “Dawn’s Early Light”, also merit praise. Weinstein plays concert flute in his breezy setting of Monk’s “I Mean You”, switching to bass flute for a deliberate, mellow treatment of the pianist’s “Ruby, My Dear”. The leader uses alto flute on Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti”, with Barron’s shimmering solo as its centerpiece. This is easily Mark Weinstein’s finest recording to date.